I came back just in time just to share few thoughts with you about my last week in Kizilay’s summer camp in Gümüldür, where children from Odemis and Kiraz counties stayed for more than a week next to the sea.
There is always a positive and negative side in most of the things we live and experience and I want to share with you both. From the time I read what Simon De Bouivoir once mentioned- that “the personal is political”, I started realizing how important our personal experiences are in order to analyze the world that we live in. Many people think that Political issues are issues which are happening somewhere far away from them, but in reality –the political- is as close as our most personal thoughts and ideas are . The quickest we understand this, the fastest we will start taking more conscious decisions.
Let’s start with the positive thing, so that you won’t blame me that I am too pessimistic!
I am really grateful for the opportunity I was given to take part in such an action for various reasons. To come in contact with less advantaged children than I happen to be and see the effort of the volunteers to inspire them through artistic activities and games was certainly a hard but also an inspiring procedure for me as well. There is no doubt that Handem, Pelin, Seher and the rest of the children had an amazing summer camp time. They swam for the first time, they played games on the sand, they had their first camp fire, they were taught about Kucuk KaraBalik, they used their imagination to paint and came in touch with theater trying to reenact Kucuk’s KaraBalik Life. They had amazing food, very beautiful camp houses to stay in, they were taught about earthquakes since turkiye is a very seismic country and they watched films. The volunteers really tried their best to make children feel comfortable and welcomed, giving some of their free time for such a caring purpose. It’s probably what a child would dream as a perfect holiday plan!
painting Kucuk Kara Balik adventures
Children inspired theater of Kucuk Kara Balik
Cleaning the sea in the morning!
reading Kucuk Kara Balik Book
During these days though, I also experienced feelings of disappointment and anger and this is my other side of the story, where the political fits. I found out about the difficult situations in which these kids live and I had that permanent perception that our world is completely wrong and what we only do to change it is just a drop in the sea. Yes, civil charities such as this summer camp play an important role in people’s life, but what would play a permanent and incredible efficient role in people’s lives is a strong political will to create all those political, financial and social conditions for the elımınatıon of poverty. Civil charities, most of the time, don’t have the ideological background to denounce the real reasons of poverty, as it is depicted in those high unemployment rates, at the labor exploitation, in the civil inequalities, in the high rates of children exploitation and the domestic violence rates, and find themselves trying to find solution to the results of a problem, rather than to its initial causes.
Even the very fact that charity exists, means that the world we live in is fundamentally unjust and that -fortunately, indeed- there are people who have realized it and have devoted themselves to restoring it. But how much can we really do, when the deep roots of injustice are still there? It is important that we see behind the problem; what caused it and what maintains it through the years. Because, no matter how many times you feed a man, at the end of the day the society will still be starving.
If we really want to strike out the injustice and create a world of equality and freedom, we need to build a political conscience. This conscience that gives meaning to the personal, the individualized, by perceiving the bigger picture.